Photographers often talk about leading the eye through an image, but what exactly does that mean? It usually includes the use of composition, shapes and lighting to encourage a viewer to rove the image in a fashion that tells a story.
The “beats” of a plot line don’t come all at once: they are spaced throughout the story to hold the viewer’s interest. And like any good story, the beats of a captivating landscape image aren’t condensed into one region of the photo.
Stories are hard to tell with a still image, but we can imitate a few key components of effective storytelling by slowly revealing new details and subtleties as the viewer dwells on it. It starts with composition, shapes and lighting: these aspects of an image tell a story and communicate a mood by:
- Maintaining the viewer’s interest
- Drawing attention to the important elements
- Helping the viewer skip past the unimportant regions
To drive home these three elements, I pulled five images from my portfolio and broke down why they do — or don’t — deliver on these three elements. Check out the vlog for the full critique, but here’s a quick peek at how I broke down these images.
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Man O’ War Bay (England)
Smith Rock (Bend, Oregon)
South Stack Lighthouse (Wales)
Durdle Door (England)
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